playtime pays off nicely for Perkins
January 3, 2000
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
is one of an ongoing series of articles on interactive-marketing
rank and serial number: William (Bill) Perkins, age 45,
Boston native, earned a BA and an MBA in marketing at Boston College.
Joined Benton & Bowles as assistant account executive on P&G
business in 1978, sharing an office with two other assistants.
Promoted to Vice President at 27 and management supervisor at
29. Following stints in senior management at J Walter Thompson,
became president of Ketchum Advertising and later president and
COO of Lord Dentsu Advertising. Today, he shares an office again
in a Silicon Valley start-up.
"Intelligent advertising is still something I believe in;
you’ve just got to make sure it’s not an oxymoron."
do you like start-ups? "It’s all about risk
the marketing challenge at Visto? "Someone called
Visto the best-kept secret in the Valley. My mission is to make
sure that we get the word out and drive awareness."
were your first action steps? "To define an architecture
to develop the brand and to build out the marketing infrastructure."
did you say on your second day on the job? "Branding
is not about t-shirts and coffee mugs. I tried to give a frame
work for what was going to be required to develop a brand."
quickly did things move? "My first board meeting
was after I’d been here a couple of days. I basically laid
out a template for developing the brand."
turned you on to the Internet? "Working on the Schwab
account. Schwab embraced the Internet. (It) fundamentally changed
the financial-services marketplace."
did it feel to make the leap? "I felt like there
was a revolution going on. I was hearing the roar of the crowd
outside of the stadium. I got tired of reading about it and hearing
the distant roar. I wanted to play."
did you do to get ready? "I bought every Internet
book available at the Time-Life bookstore on 6th Avenue. My apartment
looked liked a graduate student’s dorm room."
quickly did you have to start swimming? (Visto) wanted
me to start as soon as possible. I came out the next week with
an overnight bag and I never went back to New York. My girlfriend
ended up sending my stuff. The movers shipped out all of these
over-priced neckties and suits. I really don’t need them
anymore. I gave some to the movers. I gave some to my brother.
I have a few hanging in the closet."
is a partner with Diamond Technology Partners in Chicago. He can
be reached at email@example.com.